With the El Niño weather pattern bringing a hotter and drier summer to New Zealand, the AA is reminding Kiwis to never leave pets or children locked in a parked car.

Across January to October this year, the AA said it had responded to 800 emergency callouts for children or pets locked in vehicles, more than 200 in Auckland alone.

“People underestimate how deadly the sun can be, even in summers without El Niño,” said AA Chief Mobility Officer Jonathan Sergel.

“People may try to mitigate the effects of the heat by cracking open their windows, parking their car in the shade, or think if their car isn’t black then it won’t get as hot. On a summer’s day, none of these techniques are going to make your car any safer.

“Temperatures in cars can double that of outside and heat stroke will set in very quickly for any passengers.”